The Sweetness of Food Photography

‘Caramel’ was the winning image of our 2017 Food Blogger category supported by Aspire Photography Training shot by Hein van Tonder author of the blog ‘Heinstirred’.

Image Description: Salted caramel drizzled on a just baked chocolate pudding.

Technical: Nikon D750, 105mm, ISO500, 1/60 sec at f/4.5

Please tell us more about capturing your Finalist image. For example, what was happening around you, what inspired the shot, what time of day, challenges you had in capturing it.

I was shooting these chocolate puddings and I knew we had to do a pouring shot at some point. The caramel sauce was hot and I remember my assistant complaining that his fingers were burning while pouring it. What makes it special is that this image was the only the second frame shot.


How does it feel to be a Finalist for the Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year 2017?

It's fantastic, exciting and an absolute honour. I am very proud of the work on my blog so it is an honour to have an image photographed for selected as a finalist.

What would you say attracts you most to the photography of food?

Being able to inspire people to want to cook what they see on their screen.


How and why did you first venture into blogging and what tips can you give to aspiring bloggers and photographers?

I needed a creative outlet, I loved food and photography was quite a new hobby for me so decided to explore combining both. The first images were terrible and I would take hours attempting to style a shot but I promised myself to have a new post every week. That way I forced myself to keep at it and keep improving. And that is the biggest tip I can give someone – just keep practicing and working at it. That is the only way you will improve. And you get to eat really well!


What are your thoughts on the cultural impacts of new smartphone apps on the photography sector? Positive, negative, no impact? Why?

Positive. It keeps photography innovative and fresh. It also gives many people who cannot afford very expensive gear an opportunity to hone their craft and talent.

Which photographers, if any, have most influenced your work?

I love the work of the team who styles and shoots for Donna Hay.

Please tell us a little about where you live and if, at all, how it influences your photography.

I live in Cape Town, South Africa. We have the most amazing produce, wines and restaurants which makes for a vibrant and exciting food scene. Add the most incredible natural light for hours on end and you cannot help being constantly inspired and creative with your camera.


Hein, we’d love to hear more about what you have been working on recently?

I am lucky to photograph some the food of some fabulous restaurants in Cape Town and regularly create, style and photograph features for Food & Home Entertaining magazine. I am also venturing more and more to the video side of things and have been creating short recipe videos as well as longer “story” videos for Afrikoa Chocolate, The One & Only Cape Town, Striped Horse Beer and Pink Lady® Apples South Africa. I love the challenge video brings as I have to think differently than what I would shooting stills. I am also photographing a book of one of my favourites foodies towards the end of the year and can not wait for that.

If you’d like to connect with Hein visit:


Facebook: heinstirred

Twitter: @heinstirred

Instagram: @heinstirred

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